A Look Back with a Look Ahead

My mind has always wandered. I have trouble sticking to one subject for any length of time unless it is for work or school and even then my mind will go out of the box a little before coming back. If you have had a conversation with me for longer than 5 minutes, and a lot of my close friends know this about me, then you know that in the span of 10 minutes I can hit 5 subjects and come full circle back to the original topic that started the convo because I get so excited and one thing leads to another and then another and another and finally back to the first topic. It is weird because I got back from Disney a week and a half ago, but I have been thinking a lot about how awesome of a time I had at the race and the parks following. My friends and I had a great time at the race, but we also had a great time at the parks and I didn’t really discuss that a whole lot.  Sunday (Race day), we went to Magic Kingdom… all 7 of us! We walked around from about 1pm until 7pm, hitting up Space Mountain (NASA styley!), Thunder Railroad, the Haunted Mansion and as many other sitting rides as I could find for my running buddies (the significant others that were there pretty much went along with everything). I was happy how between 7 people with 7 very different personalities, there were no issues or arguments! That might be the true test of friendship — can you go on a vacation together, get up before the butt crack of dawn, run 13.1 miles and then walk over 7 miles around a park where TONS of people are there and the lines are long and still not freak out at anyone you are with! My friends are awesome. I think I got lucky in that department. OK, rambling, back onto topic…

After Sunday 3 of my buddies flew back to DC, but 4 of us stayed on. We were sharing a room and I can get quite overwhelming to others if they aren’t used to being in close quarters with me for any period of time so shout out to Leah and Earl for putting up with me; but yea, Monday was much more relaxed than we thought it would be. Leah and I took a trip to the Orlando Outlets for the Lulu outlet — big mistake! I think all of the racers hit it up before us! It was MASSIVELY picked over! But as we walked around, Leah suggested we hit up the Gap outlet because of the Gap Fit line that Gap had started. This was prolly the best idea ever! We had a great time at the Gap Outlet and when we went back to the hotel, the guys were up and relaxing. We put stuff down and headed out to the parks!

On day 2, we went to Animal Kingdom first — we hit Expedition Everest (roller coaster), the white water rafting ride (in which i was the person who got the wettest…) and the safari all within an hour and a half (no lines!). There was a brief heavy down pour while we were on the safari and then after that, the park was closing, so we headed over to epcot to get some food and try out the attractions there. We did single rider on the Chevy Test Track and we were goin to check out Soarin too but all of the fast passes were gone so we decided to get some food in the world showcase (SOMEWHERE) and then hit Soarin on our way out since epcot was having Magic Hours that night.

We narrowed down our desire to get food either in Norway, Germany, Italy or Morocco  As we walked, the first place we came to was Norway which was PACKED! and mind you, by this point we were STARVING since we skipped lunch (not on purpose, just happened). So when we saw that was packed we were on a mission to just find food as fast as possible. We walked through Mexico and China to Germany. The line for the buffet was long and they were only taking reservations, but we found a brat stand there and got food and drink from there! We stood eating, and after chowing down, we walked to Italy where we all had  a peaceful and restful sit. We proceeded to grab drinks around the world (not every country), but I believe the favorite was France but I will get to that. We stopped in Morocco to watch the Illuminations show which was AWESOME! They have def changed it since I last saw it 10 years ago. My husband and friends seemed to really enjoy illuminations and then we went onto France to the cream sicle station — delicious. As we finished up the world showcase, we decided not to check out Soarin’ and just go back to the hotel. It was an awesome and relaxing day and I had such a good time that I keep wanting to go back and just repeat that day over and over (lame, I know, but Disney really IS the most magical place on earth. hehe)

epcot-at-night

Anyway, when we got back, it was back to work for me! Which is ok cause I am really enjoying my new job! It’s like I am learning a whole new world and all of the people here are awesome! Learning a whole new CMS and not just editing but building and stuff like that! I am really enjoying it!

As for other day to day stuff, I HATE (absolutely LOATHE) public speaking and my prof this semester is very much into us speaking in class and presenting things and stuff like that. It is an online class so I spend the entirety of class with a headset on (like I am gaming)– it has a microphone and everything! It makes me look like I am in mission control or something! (I have a pic somewhere around here but can’t seem to locate it. I will post it later on my twitter feed)

Anyway, we have a 20 page paper to write for this class which will be our final and 45% of our grade overall and in the process of writing this paper, we had to submit a paper topics to the forums and then we also have to give a presentation on our paper topics which is tonight and then once we have a written our paper, we need to give a presentation at the end of the semester on our paper. That is more presenting in this semester than in the entirety of grad school thus far. Yea, I need to suck it up, but I am presently still working on that part….

There comes a time (hopefully for all of you, it’s before you hit my ripe old age of 29) when you need to conquer that fear of public speaking and social awkwardness. I didn’t used to have these fears but since I started my career as a computer geek, the interaction with people and public speaking has lessened and the fears have grown a little. But hey, without fears in life, there is no challenge and no spice to your life, right?! RIGHT?!?!

Anyway, so once I get through my presentation tonight, I can rest easy for a little bit. But I have to be honest with you dear readers, ever since I heard 20 page, single-spaced paper and I have been listening to this prof speak week after week, reading his slides and taking his quizzes, I have contemplated bailing on this whole grad school, software enginerding masters thing. I enjoy school because of the challenge it poses and I feel very proud when I get a good grade and am like hell yea! and maybe it is because for this grade, I have to work a little harder or that the class time itself isnt that exciting (although I am sure it is what you make it, and I am working on making it awesome in my head and trying to psych myself up for every topic). I guess when I started this semester, I thought we would be doing a little more designing of software and quality testing, and it is more reading and lecturing. Idunno, maybe I psyched myself up and had too high of expectations, either way, I am working on fixing my attitude about this class and here is why: in the past, I have quit everything. I would start something and then I would quit it (if i could) when the going got tougher and I no longer cared to expend the effort to complete it. That is why I don’t have a physics degree and why I didn’t complete my first attempt at grad school in the sciences and why I didn’t get an engineering degree in undergrad… things got hard, I had initially started in English and I went back to English because I knew I could write.

This fact, that I have a habit of quitting things, was pointed out to me about 5 years ago when I was struggling to figure out what direction I should take my life in. When I finally sorted out where in life I wanted to go, 4 years ago, I had that thought in the back of my head which has constantly and thankfully not allowed me to quit anything since then. So with grad school, I embarked on this journey in august of 2010 starting with prep courses and working my way through foundation courses one class a semester… and it has been difficult at times and even easy at times also. Let’s just sum it up as it has been an experience and my thought was, get through the foundation classes and you will get to the super neat stuff which were my focuses! Software engineering was the main was I was super excited about! Here I am in my fist software engineering class for my focus and instead of the hands on stuff (as mentioned above) it is more reading and talking about it. Anyway, I know I am just going through a lull here and I will come out the other end, still in my program and masters and everything but for the first time in 4 years, I actually said out loud, what if I quit? And I immediately looked at my shoes and felt silly for even suggesting such a thing, because darn it, I am Becca and I don’t quit things!

Anyway, aside from the class woes which is prolly just a phase, I have been prepping for the Marine Corps 17.75K on March 23! I run 11 miles now and get the guaranteed spot to run 26.2 in October! SOOOOOO EXCITED! Michelle is going to run the 17.75k with me in Quantico! It should be a good time. I will tackle 7 miles this weekend, 9 the following with the race the 3rd weekend after that!

so long story short, memories that have been made are good and things that are in the future look good, and I am excited for what life brings next! (this too shall pass 😛 )

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